A breath biopsy to be used to detect cancer

Many cancer patients die due to late diagnosis, invasive tests, fear and lack of knowledge on the signs and symptoms of of the killer disease.

However, researchers and doctors from Cambridge, England have begun clinical trials in detecting cancer through the breathe of a person.

A clinical device called Breath Biopsy has been launched to determine if the exhaled airborne molecules can be used for early cancer detection.

The breath test will aid in analyzing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) molecules that is produced in a body’s normal metabolic process. Cancer changes the patterns and chemical reaction in VOCs, thus enabling the device to detect any cancer at its early stages.

The clinical trials expected to run for two years has recruited 1,500 people, some suspected of having cancer and some are healthy.

However, patients suspected to have stomach and oesophageal cancers will be given priority before stretching to other types of cancers such as liver, kidney, prostrate, kidney and pancreatic cancer.

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The participants will be expected to breathe into the device, manufactured by Owlstone Medical, for at least ten minutes.

“We urgently need to develop new tools, like this breath test, which could help to detect and diagnose cancer earlier, giving patients the best chance of surviving their disease,” said Rebecca Fitzgerald, the lead trial investigator at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Center.

This technology in medicine will be revolutionary if the trials succeed as it will help medical personnel to detect cancer at its early stage and without invasive procedures.

Several clinical trials have been carried out in the recent years and the breath test successfully detected lung cancer with an accuracy of 85 per cent.

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